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Property Division Attorney in Spokane

Spokane Property Division Lawyer When you divorce your spouse, numerous issues must be resolved in addition to legally ending your marriage. The assets you acquired during your marriage must be divided. In some divorces, property division can be one of the most contentious and complicated aspects of the dissolution of marriage.

Our Spokane property division lawyers have over 40 years of legal experience. With decades of experience, our attorneys are equipped to handle the most complex property division cases. Our legal team diligently pursues a property settlement agreement that gives you the resources you need as you move on with your life after your divorce in Spokane, WA.

At Twyford Law Office, our Spokane property division attorneys understand what is at stake. We work with you to develop a fair property settlement. We’ll use mediation and negotiation to achieve a settlement, but we do not hesitate to use aggressive measures to protect your best interests when necessary.

Call our office in Spokane, Washington, at (509) 327-0777 to schedule a free consultation.

How Twyford Law Office Can Help You With Property Division in Spokane

How Twyford Law Office Can Help You With Property Division in SpokaneDividing your assets may be more complicated than splitting everything down the middle. Even if you agree on the basic property division terms, there will likely be some challenging aspects of dividing your marital property. Having an experienced Spokane property division lawyer on your side can make a huge difference in the outcome of your case.

When you hire our top-rated Spokane divorce lawyers, you can trust we will:

  • Investigate all claims of hidden assets and other wrongdoing that could impact your property settlement
  • Gather evidence to identify separate property that is not subject to property division
  • Work with appraisers, business valuation specialists, investigators, and other experts as necessary
  • Aggressively negotiate a fair property settlement agreement
  • Take the matter to court if your spouse refuses to negotiate in good faith

Experience matters when you are fighting for a fair share of marital assets during a divorce in Spokane, Washington. The National Association of Distinguished Counsel recognizes Attorney Julie Twyford as one of the Nation’s Top One Percent of Lawyers. Our Spokane divorce lawyers have high ratings from numerous organizations, including Super Lawyers.

Call Twyford Law Office to schedule a free case evaluation with one of our experienced Spokane property division lawyers.

Is Washington State a Community Property State?

Washington is a community property state. Therefore, spouses have a 50% ownership in marital assets. However, unlike other community property states, Washington does not require courts to divide marital assets equally. While most property divisions will be more or less equal, judges have the discretion to divide high assets unequally if that produces an overall equitable and fair result.

Examples of Marital Property in Washington State

Our Spokane property division lawyers work with you to identify all marital assets subject to property division. 

Examples of marital assets include, but are not limited to:

  • Business interests
  • Cash
  • Wages, salaries, and other income
  • Pensions and retirement accounts
  • Intangible property, including trademarks, patents, and copyrights
  • Personal property
  • Financial accounts
  • Stocks, mutual funds, and bonds
  • Life insurance policies
  • Electronics and furniture
  • Antiques and artwork
  • Real estate holdings
  • Boats, cars, and other motor vehicles

Marital assets may also include separate property that has been commingled with marital property. It is crucial that we identify all assets and correctly categorize them for property division.

What Factors Do Courts Consider When Dividing Assets During a Divorce in Washington State?

RCW §26.09.80 states that courts divide assets based on what is just and equitable without regard to misconduct. 

The court should consider factors including, but not limited to:

  • The extent and nature of community property and separate property
  • The length of the marriage or domestic partnership
  • The economic circumstances of each spouse or domestic partner

In addition to the above factors, judges may consider other factors to determine what is fair. For example, a judge may consider the existence of non-marital resources, such as trust income. They may also consider a spouse’s financial needs, medical conditions, age, and education level.

Separate Property vs. Marital Property in a Spokane Property Division Case

Two categories of property are used for property division – separate property and marital property.

Separate property is generally not subject to property division during a divorce. 

A spouse’s separate property includes:

  • Assets the spouse owned prior to the marriage
  • Property acquired after the parties separate
  • Gifts given to a spouse
  • Inheritance received by a spouse
  • Property purchased by a spouse in their name only with separate assets during the marriage, such as using an inheritance to purchase a boat title in one spouse’s name
  • Debts incurred before the marriage
  • Property designated as separate property by an enforceable pre-nuptial or post-nuptial agreement

It is presumed that property acquired during the marriage is marital assets. It does not matter how the property is titled. For example, a home or vehicle purchased during the marriage and titled in one spouse’s name would still be considered a marital asset. All marital assets are subject to property division.

Separate Property Can Become Marital Property in Some Situations

A spouse’s separate property can be subject to property division if it is commingled with marital assets. For example, depositing your inheritance funds into a joint bank account with marital assets generally means the inheritance becomes marital property. Likewise, purchasing a house with inherited funds and titling it jointly with your spouse makes the home a marital asset.

Separate property can become marital assets if a spouse uses marital funds to improve the separate property. For instance, joint funds earned during the marriage are used to pay the mortgage for a house in one spouse’s name, or the couple uses marital funds to improve the property. The house or a portion of the house’s value may now be a marital asset.

The only way to protect separate property from being divided with your spouse during a divorce is to maintain its separate status. Prevent commingling by keeping the asset isolated from marital assets. Do not use joint accounts or deposit money you earn during the marriage into an account with separate assets. Likewise, do not use marital assets to pay for expenses or improvements to separate property.

How Is Property Valued in a Spokane Divorce Case?

Another complicated aspect of property division is valuing assets. Some assets are easy to value—for example, the amount in a financial account or the fair market value of your vehicle.

However, some marital assets may be more challenging to value. For example, how do you decide the value of a business interest for a divorce? How is intangible property, such as business reputation, intellectual property, and professional degrees, valued in a divorce case?

There are several methods for valuing assets for a divorce case. Fair market value is often the easiest method of valuing an asset. The fair market value of an asset equals what an objective purchaser would pay for the property based on the marketplace.

Other methods of valuing marital property include replacement cost, the market price of similar items, and the revenue the item will provide in the future. The method used to value an asset depends on the type of asset being valued.

Our Spokane property division lawyers work with leading experts in their fields to obtain property valuations for divorce cases. Obtaining expert valuations of your property can help resolve conflicts during property settlement negotiations instead of going to court to settle the dispute.

Does Fault for the Marriage Impact Property Division in a Spokane Divorce Case?

Washington is a no-fault divorce state. All a spouse needs to allege is that the marriage is irretrievably broken to obtain a divorce. You do not need to prove that your spouse committed wrongdoing that led to the marriage breakup.

Therefore, the fault for the marriage is not considered in the property division. The only exception would be if a spouse significantly depletes the marital assets because of wrongdoing. For example, a spouse spends a substantial amount of marital funds to support an extra-marital affair. 

How Does a Marital Agreement Impact Property Division in a Spokane Divorce Case?

Couples can negotiate a property settlement agreement as part of their pre-nuptial or post-nuptial agreement. If the agreement is valid, the court should enforce the agreement. The couple may include provisions for how to designate separate property versus community property. The agreement may stipulate that all assets acquired during the marriage, regardless of status, should be divided equally.

A pre-nuptial or post-nuptial agreement can avoid litigation over property division. It can also simplify the process of obtaining a divorce by resolving these issues when the parties are amicable and willing to compromise to reach a fair divorce settlement.

Schedule a Free Consultation With Our Spokane Property Division Lawyers

At Twyford Law Office in Spokane, WA, our lawyers provide straightforward, honest legal advice about your options for property division. We believe our clients benefit when they are able to make informed decisions about their divorce case. Call us to speak to a Spokane property division lawyer at (509) 327-0777. Your initial consultation is free and confidential.

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